Russell Nichols is a freelance writer who focuses on technology, culture and mental health. His work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, Governing Magazine and Government Technology.
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Startup of the Month: AIVision Food
An early detection tool to protect crops from pests
Insect infestation affects crops worldwide, and manually
monitoring food processing and storage facilities is a costly and
time-intensive endeavor. SmartProbe technology aims to make pest
control easier, cheaper and more effective.
As technology evolves, regional entrepreneurs look to unlock the possibilities of augmented reality
Unlike virtual reality, which immerses users in an artificial environment, augmented reality superimposes information in the real world. This information can take the form of graphics, text, audio and other sensory inputs to enhance one’s experience.
Startup of the Month: HuLoop Automation
AI bots streamline workflows to free up human workers from mundane tasks
Too many employees get stuck doing tedious tasks on legacy systems that can impact job satisfaction and the bottom line. This is why Todd Michaud launched HuLoop Automation, a Sacramento-based AI-powered solution to transform the way work gets done.
Startup of the Month: Optimized Foods
Davis company cultivates caviar without harming fish
Optimized Foods, a Davis-based food tech startup, has created a new kind of caviar that is sustainable, nutritious and, most notably, fish-free.
Startup of the Month: Advance Ag
Agtech company aims to bring real-time data tools to farmers
Using Internet-of-Things devices and sensors, the Sacramento-based startup analyzes real-time plant data to monitor the health and performance of crops and water soil saturation.
Startup of the Month: Core Impact
Wearable tech company aims to enhance peak performance of athletes
For athletes, consistency can lead to greatness. Performance data can help get them there. The sports technology startup Core Impact offers a targeted solution through its patent-pending wearable technology.
Startup of the Month: California Cultured
Food tech company makes real chocolate from plant cells
It takes about five years for a cocoa tree to grow and start producing cocoa beans. But Alan Perlstein, who spent the last 20 years in cellular agriculture and pharmaceuticals, had an idea: Why not bypass the tree and just grow the bean?
Startup of the Month: EV Life
Financing platform gives potential EV buyers a boost
EV Life was created to help make the cost of an electric vehicle
equal to or less than a car that runs on gas. The startup’s
founder and co-CEO explains how his business works with potential
EV buyers in three phases.
Startup of the Month: Mediminder
New device helps people with allergies track EpiPens
With her Davis-based startup, CEO Liz Tang wants to remedy the
problem of people with medical conditions not having immediate
access to the medical devices that may save their lives.
Meet Dr. Robot
Advanced robotics bring speed and accuracy to operating rooms
Robots may not possess empathy, but they provide precision
and consistency that’s hard for even the most highly trained
health professionals to replicate.
Can AI-informed technologies hit the medical
The Legacy of Robodoc
Four decades later, the first surgical robot lives on
Robodoc co-creator Dr. William Bargar talks with Comstock’s
about the legacy of Robodoc.
Startup of the Month: VestLife
Elk Grove startup creates app to collect, customize disability information
VestLife, founded by a special needs attorney, enables
parents of children with developmental disabilities to
organize, manage and instantly access their child’s key
disability information via one secure web app.
Starting From Scraps
Developers look to convert the region’s rotting eyesores into unique visions for business
While repurposing old warehouses for new use comes with
technical and financial challenges, it also presents great
benefits, and is one way to build green and sustainable.
Startup of the Month: Matrubials
UC Davis spinoff finds big potential in breast milk
Breast milk has antibiotic-like health benefits? It sure does. Matrubials, a startup out of UC Davis, is developing products that use breast milk components to treat bacterial infections.
Call to Interaction
To reach young consumers, advertisers think outside the checkbox
Savvy advertising won’t help a business if its core values aren’t
consistent on every level. In today’s marketing landscape,
authentic messaging aimed toward building trust and
engagement is critical.
Startup of the Month: Neural Lab
Touchless technology ushers in new wave
Based in El Dorado Hills, Neural Lab has developed touchless technology that turns hand and body motions into commands for devices like keyboards, mice, touchscreens, games and TV controllers.
Startup of the Month: June Care
Platform for child care connects parents to hosts
Davis-based June Care is an online platform that connects parents who need child care with host parents who can provide it.
Startup of the Month: EyeRate
Elk Grove team wants service workers to get their due
Elk Grove-based EyeRate is a social platform designed to recognize and reward employees for their product knowledge and customer service, helping them earn more of what their labor is worth.
The Power of the Breath
UC Davis professor develops device for COVID-19 detection
Cristina Davis, a professor of mechanical and aerospace
engineering and associate dean of research for the UC Davis
College of Engineering, is developing a breathalyzer-like
device to detect COVID-19 and its severity in individuals.
The Doctor Will See You Now
COVID-19 gave a major boost to telehealth services, but for how long?
During the pandemic, the benefits of patients connecting
virtually have been transformative in many ways.
Startup of the Month: VasoBio
UC Davis medtech team pumps life into potential kidney dialysis solution
Davis-based VasoBio has created a medical device that could improve the quality of life for people with kidney diseases.
A Cardiologist’s Guide to Good Health
Dr. Ramin Manshadi, founder of the Manshadi Heart Institute in
Stockton, has been studying human hearts and health for
Older, Better, Faster, Stronger
Capital Region innovators build new paths to wellness and longevity
Doctors, researchers and trailblazers are exploring how
to use both tried-and-true methods and new tools to
improve physical and mental health as we age.
Startup of the Month: FarmX
E-commerce platform empowers farmers
Fairfield-based FarmX enables farmers to sell directly to grocery chains and restaurants via its e-commerce platform.
Startup of the Month: Yolo Robotics
Davis-based company aims to recycle space debris
Tech company Yolo Robotics aims to melt and reshape space debris into useful products while remaining in orbit.
Startup of the Month: Expert IEP
App optimizes education plans for neurodivergent students
Davis-based tech company Expert IEP developed an app to help parents of neurodivergent students optimize their academic, behavioral, occupational and speech goals.
Show Me the Money
Automation and ag-tech help fuel Capital Region’s funding boost
As the pandemic shifts the landscape of investing in
the Capital Region, so too are the dynamics between tech startups
Startup of the Month: INN>CHRG
Yolo County-based startup aims to eliminate range anxiety for electric vehicle drivers
INN>CHRG is developing an app that allows any private property (residential, business, etc.) with electricity to potentially become a charging location.
Startup of the Month: RevShopp
Platform shapes a better way to shop
Every body has a type. But clothing stores typically focus on sizes, which does a disservice to both retailers and customers, says Amy Wister, cofounder and CEO of RevShopp.
Assembled With PRIDE
Long-standing social enterprise builds on legacy of inclusion
From its beginnings in a church basement in Auburn to its current status as the Capital Region’s leading employer of people with disabilities and other hurdles to employment, PRIDE Industries has always promoted an inclusive workforce.
Startup of the Month: Trusty
Real estate platform adds perspective
“Why can you read reviews on what restaurant to eat at or hotel to stay at or what vacuum to buy, but when it comes to the largest financial purchase of your life, there’s nowhere to go?” says Tim Hyer, cofounder and CEO of Trusty.
Can Artificial Intelligence Improve Mental Health?
After the disruption of 2020, the push for more collaborative affiliations has become even more urgent. At the core of this evolving model is technology.
Startup of the Month: Reviver
Digital license plates turn cars into smart machines
How much would you pay to never have to step foot in the Department of Motor Vehicles again?
Startup of the Month: TurtleTree
Business grows cells to create milk and milk ingredients
Milk may do the body good, as the 1980s campaign stated, but Fengru Lin, cofounder and CEO of TurtleTree, believes milk production without cows could do the planet even better.
Startup of the Month: BCD Bioscience
Young scientist develops method to revolutionize fiber
BCD Bioscience wants to help adults benefit from essential carbohydrates that naturally occur in breast milk.
Startup of the Month: Hank
Artificial intelligence platform helps building systems run efficiently
Summer heat in Sacramento can be stressful — especially for air conditioning units in office buildings.
The New Industrialists
Meet four entrepreneurs in the Capital Region who are making a positive difference
Here are four entrepreneurs who are transforming ideas of manufacturing for the well-being of the world.
Startup of the Month: Foodom
Business serves up on-demand home cooks
The Folsom-based startup Foodom launched in March 2020 to bring experienced cooks into the homes of busy families.
Maturity Loves Company
Trends point to a growing interest in mergers and acquisitions
The recent spate of mergers and acquisitions in the Capital Region tells a story beyond the pandemic, speaking to growing interest in the area and a red-hot financial craze that catapults private companies into public markets.
Startup of the Month: InVixa
Startup uses popular drug to target COVID-19 inflammation
As COVID-19 vaccines roll out worldwide, InVixa is working on a new delivery method for a cholesterol-lowering drug to treat respiratory inflammation caused by the coronavirus.
Startup of the Month: BoxPower
Delivering clean energy to end-of-the-line customers
In a world of portability and to-go orders, Grass Valley-based startup BoxPower delivers energy in a box.
Startup of the Month: Warchest
Budgeting software aids political campaigns
The 2020 presidential election may be over, but the team at Warchest still has work to do.
Startup of the Month: Factory OS
You might not associate remote work with construction, but Mare
Island-based Factory OS is redesigning the business model by
building multifamily homes off-site, then shipping them to the
Coping With COVID
As stress levels have soared, treatment programs for substance use battle to keep up
The challenge for treatment programs can be broken down into four
parts: lack of workforce, limited capacity, timing conflicts and
Startup of the Month: Unfold
Breeding seeds for vertical farms
The future of vertical farming begins on the genetic level. That’s the philosophy of Unfold, a Sacramento-based startup focused on innovating fruit and vegetable seeds to better serve indoor growing facilities.
The Image of Health
Co-inventor Simon Cherry on how the world’s first total-body PET scanner could significantly change disease diagnosis
Comstock’s spoke with Cherry about the groundbreaking work that led UC Davis to name him and co-inventor Ramsey Badawi among the recipients of the 2020 Chancellor’s Innovation Awards.
Startup of the Month: Humanly
AI-powered hiring platform helps big companies find best candidates
With the help of artificial intelligence, this Sacramento-based startup wants to make the hiring process run smoother for companies flooded with applications.
Startup of the Month: Drinjk Wines
Wine business delivers single-serve bottles
There’s nothing worse than pouring wine down the drain, says Brett Bayda, so he created Drinjk Wines for consumers who want more portion control.
Startup of the Month: FloraPulse
Agtech startup measures water levels in plants
How do you measure the thirst of a plant? Michael Santiago, founder and CEO of FloraPulse, says give it a chip.
Fighting for Fairness
Black business owners are trying to survive amid the pandemic and economic and racial injustice
Not only have Black Americans suffered more from COVID-19 infections and deaths, but Black-owned businesses were hit the hardest due to the shutdown.